They point out the need to develop a Plan to train Pilots who are capable of attending forest fire and civil protection activities

The President of the International Helicopter Association (HAI), James A. Viola, together with the President of the European Helicopter Association (EHA), Christian Müller, visited the facilities that the Andalusian multinational has at the Sebastián Almagro Aerodrome in Palma del Río (Córdoba), in order to learn first-hand about the air activities carried out by its operators, in addition to identifying the opportunities that this sector can generate for the Andalusian and national industry. Actions aimed at encouraging the field of R + D + I in the industry have also been explored.

In the meeting, in addition to learning about the wide range of activities related to emergencies such as civil protection and forest firefighting with helicopters, mainly carried out by Pegasus, they did a tour of the hangars for the maintenance of its own fleet and that of others clients, as well as the two schools for the training of technicians and pilots located in the same facilities of the aeronautical Group.

Among the conclusions of the work meeting, the specialization that our country particularly has in activities related to the extinction of forest fires has been highlighted, being a European benchmark, and which currently faces the challenge of being able to offer solutions capable of mitigate the effects generated by the new generation of fires.

In this sense, the need to have a highly specialized pilot staff to carry out this task has been highlighted, making it necessary to work on a specific Training Plan. In addition, the deficit of pilots that currently exists in Europe to deal with this type of emergencies and others related to civil protection has been highlighted, with a need for professionals that will exceed 200 pilots in the next 10 years.

This visit coincides with the presentation in Madrid of the European Rotors 2023, the largest fair in Europe and the second largest in the world in the helicopter sector, by James Viola himself and his European counterpart Christian Müller, together with the main authorities of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the Central Government and the regions that require air resources for the execution of protection and emergency systems to develop aerial devices.

It is the first time that this international fair is held in Spain and, without a doubt, it will be a boost for the Spanish and Andalusian aeronautical industry, which currently represents close to 0.8 of the National GDP and generates more than 100,000 direct and indirect jobs.